Learn How

We need your help in 2018

Support All About Jazz All About Jazz is looking for 1,000 backers to help fund our 2018 projects that directly support jazz. You can make this happen by purchasing ad space or by making a donation to our fund drive. In addition to completing every project (listed here), we'll also hide all Google ads and present exclusive content for a full year!

722

Andre Matos: Rosa-Shock

Phil DiPietro By

Sign in to view read count


Andre Matos, at 27, is the latest young guitarist to take aim at the international jazz scene from the strategic port of Lisbon and its effervescent Tone of a Pitch imprint. Like his labelmates, Matos is a free thinker. He combines modern jazz with the attitude, mood and tinge of modern rock and creates what could be termed "alternative" jazz, but not the kind that manipulates Nirvana covers. Both in writing and execution, Matos takes more than literal ownership of his alternative.

The most obvious difference between this and some of the other stellar TOAP dates, is the presence of a vocalist, the remarkable Sara Serpa. With four new releases hitting almost simultaneously—including a brilliant debut recording, she makes an unexpected and deceptively simple bid to challenge nothing less than the very concept of the role of a jazz vocalist in a small ensemble. Serpa doesn't sing songs as much as she becomes part of them, using no lyrics, with a natural vocalese that cannot be called scatting. Singing as any front-line member of the ensemble would play, she moves effortlessly from melodist to soloist to ensemble voice.

Matos plays a huge part in her working band, and she in his, with each composing all the songs on their new releases. The first and last tracks of this session will reveal that Matos' writing can be differentiated by texture and mood. There's occasional heaviness or darkness that can be lifted, as on "Serra De Sintra," which sounds like the soundtrack for encountering the lush, haunting mountain range for which it's named. When Serpa unleashes guttural gyrations near at the midpoint of the journey, she remains spellbinding. "Moody" recalls the work of Theo Bleckmann and Ben Monder, who specialize in transforming darkness to light, as Serpa's melody does to Matos' underpinnings. Demian Cebaud's multi-tracked bass bowing and plucking add another lush, yet oblique, angle to the arc of this song.

Without a vocalist, we're indoctrinated into "Lisboa for Beginners" which sets a stirring mood that takes its time, embracing and inviting, as Matos summons with chords and Alex Frazao exhorts with drums. Landing in the welcoming but intense arms of Albert Sanz' piano, sensory ruminations turn into sensual counterpoint. Sanz' rejoinder allows the arc of Matos' short solo to resolve the travelogue.

"Rosa-Shock" is hot pink, a rock band laying it on thick over a six minute ostinato, with Matos taking it into the stratosphere with some distortion and the tasteful use of a harmonizer pedal.

"Suitcase" is gorgeously deceptive, as Serpa merely states a melody that repeats every eight bars, but over a different harmony. Sanz, never in a rush, packs dense information into his discerning choices, raising the lyricism quotient. Matos' improvisation then entwines with Sepra's restatement of the melody, providing a half-spontaneous etude, which is a telling highlight.

Because if Serpa's Praia and this recording by Matos are any indication, their dance should continue to be fruitful, surprising and enticing for years to come.


Track Listing: Moody; Fusca; Rosa-Shock; Rare Birds; Lisboa For Beginners; Silent Witness; James Brown; Suitcase; Serra De Sintra.

Personnel: Andre Matos: guitar; Sara Serpa: voclas; Albert Sanz: piano; Demian Cabaud : bass; Alex Frazao: drums.

Title: Rosa-Shock | Year Released: 2008 | Record Label: Tone of a Pitch Music


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Lattice CD/LP/Track Review Lattice
by John Sharpe
Published: December 14, 2017
Read I Think I’m Going To Eat Dessert CD/LP/Track Review I Think I’m Going To Eat Dessert
by Mark Corroto
Published: December 14, 2017
Read Celebrating William Parker at 65 CD/LP/Track Review Celebrating William Parker at 65
by Victor L. Schermer
Published: December 14, 2017
Read Eternal Life CD/LP/Track Review Eternal Life
by Jerome Wilson
Published: December 14, 2017
Read Baby It's Cold Outside CD/LP/Track Review Baby It's Cold Outside
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: December 13, 2017
Read Wrong Turns And Dead Ends CD/LP/Track Review Wrong Turns And Dead Ends
by Mark Sullivan
Published: December 13, 2017
Read "Far From Over" CD/LP/Track Review Far From Over
by Karl Ackermann
Published: August 13, 2017
Read "The Roc" CD/LP/Track Review The Roc
by Geno Thackara
Published: May 6, 2017
Read "Akua's Dance" CD/LP/Track Review Akua's Dance
by Chris M. Slawecki
Published: June 9, 2017
Read "Live at Ronnie Scott's" CD/LP/Track Review Live at Ronnie Scott's
by Geno Thackara
Published: September 10, 2017
Read "Echoes Of Europe" CD/LP/Track Review Echoes Of Europe
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: January 26, 2017
Read "Then and Now" CD/LP/Track Review Then and Now
by Jack Bowers
Published: July 28, 2017

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!